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Northern Lights - Finland vs Norway

Old May 30th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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Northern Lights - Finland vs Norway

Would like to try to see Northern Lights this next Christmas time. I realize that no one can predict if you will see them or not. Considering either Finnish Lapland or northern Norway. Do folks have an opinion? First priority is liklihood of seeing northern lights. Second priority is ability to get to the location. Third priority is availability of other activities. Opinions??
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Old Jun 11th, 2013, 10:30 PM
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I prefer Northern Norway because of the different areas and different weather conditions.

If it is cloudy inland, you always have the choice to go to the coast and vice versa. I have made good experiences with this: observing the weather, the weather and aurora forecast and being flexible with choosing a location. So your own car would be a true benefit!

In Lapland, you can be lucky but it is very often overcast - not my personal experience but what I have heard from fellow photographers. I came back with lots of photos, they just with a few when we were in the North at the same time.

The likelihood of seeing auroras is good in both places - it is just a question if you can see them
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Old Jun 11th, 2013, 11:43 PM
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If money was the driving factor i'd head for Finland, there are a bunch of ski resorts north of the Finish arctic circle with easy access.

But, after spending 20+ days in the area I've only seen the lights once (once seen soon forgotten)
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 12:12 AM
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We are starting to plan a similar trip for the coming winter. bilbo, are you saying that it's not worth the effort?
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 10:35 AM
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well I love the cross country skiing, the dog sledging (wow) and the way the northern finns are sort of cut off (during WW2 the Germans came looking for Yllas and failed to find it!).

If you have want to see some very weird lights in the sky (and are Japanese and intend to "celebrate" your marriage ;-) ) then come see it, but be prepared to have to sit outside in -15C for a far bit of time (or keep looking out of the bar).
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 11:13 AM
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The Norway coast will be a tad warmer than inland Finland, but may be cloudier.
You will be there during the polar night so you need to make sure there is enough to do during the day, even in the dark.

Have you also considered Iceland?
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 01:22 PM
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Norway is more diverse from a weather condition point of view as already mentioned. Depending on where you are (near the gulf stream or not....) it might not make a difference from a temperature point of view.
What to do during the day? Sleep you will need to catch up sleep when you stay outside to view the northern lights until 4 or 5 am
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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 03:35 AM
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Hiya, I´m planning a trip too to see the NL, but am going to Iceland thought. I´ve been doing some online searching and so far I´ve found a couple of interesting sites. This one for example, but on there is a NL forecast and lots of good info about the NL http://www.northernlightsiceland.com/ I´ve been doing some reading and people seem to be very happy with their NL tours to Iceland, that´s why it was my pick - also I´ve always wanted to go to the Blue Lagoon
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 01:31 AM
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I went to Iceland in Feb 2012 and paid to chase the Lights on a tour. I went out 5 consecutive nights,alas no luck! The tour company could not have done more, but......c`est la vie.
on the other hand my day at the Blue Lagoon was fabulous.
I`m hoping to try again next year. fingers crossed for both you and me.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 02:14 AM
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We visited Tromso and saw an incredible show over 3 nights. Tromso is regarded as being a hot spot in the earth's magnetic field.

It also has the benefit of being far milder than inland areas.

Due to the North Atlantic Drift, over New Years Eve temperatures were around -4oC. We saw people wandering round in T Shirts. I asked one man - he had just driven from an inland area 40 miles away and had left -35oC, he thought Tromso was a heat wave in comparison.

I would not have exposed my 3 year old to -35oC.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 05:01 AM
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I find my skull begins to creak around -15C
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 05:03 AM
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Dickie_Gr..did you go to Tromso under your own steam or on a package? I take it that there's enough to do during the day to occupy you? However, if you're up all night watching for the lights, I suppose you'd sleep!
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 05:34 AM
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Very cheap flights with Norwegian.com.

3 days is fine to hang out. Any longer and you can start to explore the many excursions available from the town. Dog Sled, skiing, boat trips etc.

From memory the lights appear for about an hour usually before 10pm. Having only twilight for about two hours a day does take some getting used to. I could understand someone who already has jet lag becoming totally suicide.

The worst trade off is that the area is stunning in the snow but snow = clouds = no lights.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 05:46 AM
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There was a spectacular display last week, visible from Minnesota!

http://www.universetoday.com/103218/...-fill-the-sky/

So if you are in the US you could save yourself jetlag, and Scandinavian prices and watch them closer to home.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 06:16 AM
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No, UK hetismij2. I don't suppose Minnesota is worth the trip. (Awaits barrage from US)
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 06:50 AM
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Maybe not Minnesota but Canada is close, Alaska doesn't even need a passport, and both have aurora, often better than in Europe, and usually for less money too.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 06:54 AM
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Rubicund

Norwegian Air had flights direct from Standstead to Tromso, they are a low cost operator if you book well in advance.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 07:05 AM
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We live in Lancashire and southern airports are a PIA, especially Stanstead. I checked to see if Manchester does Tromso, but there's a 5 hour change layover in Oslo. I think I'll investigate the Canada option.

hetismij2, where in Canada would you recommend?
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 08:54 AM
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Rubicund:

Whitehorse, Yukon Territory is where I'm planning to see the Aurora this winter. It's in a rain shadow and therefore has the clearest skies in Canada.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 09:35 AM
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Thanks Amy, I'll check it out. Is there anywhere more east coast to cut down the flying time?

Apologies to the OP, I didn't want to shanghai the thread.
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